Review: Amazons!

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Amazons!
edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson

★★★½☆

1979 • 206 pages • DAW Books

Reading editor Jessica Amanda Salmonson’s introduction to Amazons!, the first major fantasy anthology featuring female protagonists, is a strange experience for the modern feminist-minded geek. On the one hand, I find few things as heartening (or heartwinning, as Salmonson puts it in the introduction to T. J. Morgan’s “Woman of the White Waste”) as discovering new-to-me texts that prove speculative fiction has not always been the (white, straight, cis) boys’ club people inside the genre and out often assume it is. On the other hand, it’s less heartening to realize that we’ve been having largely the same conversations about diversity and representation for decades. I’m no less motivated to fight the good fight, of course, but it makes for some bittersweet reading.

Emphasis on the sweet, though. I mean, it’s an entire anthology of lady-centric fantasy from the dying days of disco, topped off by a list of nonfiction and fiction books deemed relevant for people interested in that subject matter. And if you’re not interested—well, I think you’re on quite the wrong blog, friend.

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Review: Firebirds Rising

Firebirds Rising edited by Sharyn November

My attraction to these Firebird anthologies is a little odd to me. I ultimately find them to be just okay, but I still want to read all of them. Is the beautiful cover art courtesy of Cliff Nielsen? Is it the fact that November is putting a lot of effort into making Firebird an imprint with personality, rather than just another speculative fiction or teen imprint? Is it the fact that I feel bad I don’t read more short story collections? We may never know, although I will say that the fact it was Halloween got me to pick this up at the time I did.

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